Limerick dairy farmers missing out on savings of up to €6,400 per year

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ALMOST 600 dairy farmers in Limerick are missing out on savings of up to €6,400 per year by failing to switch electricity providers, a new survey has revealed.

Energy switching company, WeSwitchU.ie, also warned of the pitfalls farmers need to look out for when seeking a better deal.

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Farmers with 200 cows can benefit most by trading in their current supplier for a new one, according to the WeSwitchU.ie Index.

It reveals a €6,400 gap between the cheapest and most expensive electricity plans on the market.

For a farmer with 150 cows, the index reveals savings of €4,220 for electricity customers 10,058 versus €5,838 per annum), and €2,215 for a farmer with 100 cows (€5,635 versus €3,420 per annum).

“On dairy farms, the amount of electricity used depends chiefly on milk cooling equipment and the amount of hot water used, which are in turn dictated by the number of milking units in the parlour and the level of automation in the milking machine,” said Brendan Halpin, CEO of WeSwitchU.ie.

“Based on average consumption, the index clearly shows that thousands of dairy farmers can potentially slice up to €6,400 off their bills from a premium annual cost of €14,655 to a net cost of €8,255 with the cheapest provider.

“There is huge inertia out there when it comes to switching providers but when you remove the obstacles and the perceived ‘hassle’, it can make for massive savings.”

Halpin also warns of the different pitfalls to avoid when switching providers.

“We’d always advise to stay away from tariffs with surcharges applied above 3,000kWh for day usage and 2,000kWh for night usage.

“Decline commercial tariffs over residential ones as they work out more expensive over a 12 month period. Group deals are also best avoided with the discounted unit rates offered to members lower due to sales commission.”

Research from the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) shows that half of Irish people have never switched energy supplier.

With approximately 1200 dairy farmers in Limerick, that means 600 are potentially losing out.

“Based on the maximum potential savings per year, farmers have the power to put €533 every month back in their farms,” said Mr Halpin.

“Those who make the switch themselves benefit from the savings in their first year but need to look at the market again after that time to keep up the momentum.

“Once you sign up with WeSwitchU.ie, you do not have to search year-in, year-out for better deals as we continue to pursue savings on an annual basis and do the switching for you.

“When your contract expires, we provide a breakdown of the best deals for your needs and switch providers on your behalf.

“By removing the main barriers to switching – hassle and time – you are guaranteed to always be on the best rates.”

More information can be found at www.WeSwitchU.ie/Farmers

Annual Electricity Costs by Number of Cows (based on average usage data from Teagasc)

No of Cows Highest Annual Cost (€) Lowest Annual Cost (€) Savings (€) Electricity usage (kwh)
100 5,635 3,420 2,215 24,032
150 10,058 5,838 4,220 43,202
200 14,655 8,255 6,400 62,372